In this review we take a close look at the Shanling M6 DAP, selling for the price of $499 USD.
Disclaimer : The Shanling M6was sent to us free of charge by the brand in exchange for an honest opinion.
Founded in 1988, Shanling has been developing Hi-Fi products for more than 30 years now. From high-end CD player to classy tube-amp, the brand made a name thanks to great craftsmanship and top of the line performances.
These past years, the brand also developed a complete range of players and IEM. If the last time we reviewed the Shanling ME500, a great IEM in my opinion, today we’ll be reviewing their new flagship DAP, the M6.
The Shanling DAP Series
As usual, we’ll begin with a quick presentation of Shanling DAP catalog.
The Shanling M0 is a small DAP that looks a lot like the famous Apple Watch. As a matter of fact, you can even use the M0 as a watch, with the proper wristband. At the core of the Shanling M0, you have a SABRE 9019P chip. It’s a bit different than the usual 9018S but the specs remain mostly the same, a good thing.
Berkhan reviewed it and said: “For its very small price and footprint, very good usage and sound performance (…) it sounds good, performs good and the amount of features were just enough to convince me”
If you want to know more about the M0, you must check Berkhan review : “hello beastie”.
The Shanling M2X replaced the M2S in the brand catalog. It shares the same footprint but enjoys a better chipset with an AK4490EN DAC and a WiFi connection for AirPlay and Tidal Playback.
Honestly, it’s a Shanling M5S, but cheaper and smaller with all the goods, minus the stretched case. I liked it a lot during my previous review : “ Simply put, the Shanling M2X is an M5S in kid clothes. You get the same sound signature – dry, precise, subtle – without the awkward design previously shown by the M5S“
Take a Shanling M2S and stretch it from top to bottom, you get the Shanling M3S. From a side to side comparison, the only difference would be this black box at the bottom of the player. Same (astoundingly) good build, same scroll-wheel system, same screen size.
The difference comes from the inside, the Shanling M3S doubling almost every spec: 2x AK4490EQ DAC, 4x LPF circuit, 4x headphone amp circuits and 2x headphone output (single-ended and balanced).
Again, Berkhan reviewed it and said: “Tiny in size may be, but this is a huge DAP from Shanling. They surely know how to create an effective audio circuitry and great sound quality with that. “
Find out more information from our review, linked here : “Perfectly Balanced”
If you really want to go limo style with your Shanling DAP, you may lean toward the M5S. It’s great player with a dual AK4490EN circuit and a powerful headphone amp section. The sound is superb, but the UI is quite quirky and if you’re on a budget, the M2X gets you nearly the same performance, for a fraction of the size/price.
We reviewed it a few months ago: “ The splendid build quality alone is a vast accomplishment on its own, if you don’t take in to account of the low-resolution screen. The DAP is enjoyable on various levels: the fast UI and a straightforward and beautiful design”
The Shanling M6 is the new flagship of the brand. Full Android experience, for streaming and wireless playback, Dual AKM DAC, a new and improved circuit for more output power, on paper all seems better.
Good news, this is the player we are about to review.
The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.